Credit: Rob Tannenbaum

Get a cozy -- and colorful -- fire going in your fireplace using homemade waxed pinecones with this easy how-to.

Tools and Materials

  • White beeswax
  • Double boiler
  • Wire
  • Dry pinecones
  • Drying rack
  • Salt of choice (Epsom salts, table salt or salt substitute)
  • Raffia

Pinecone Fire Starter How-To

  1. Melt wax in a double boiler to between 150 and 175 degrees.
  2. Hook a length of wire onto top of pinecone and, holding wire, carefully dip pinecone into hot wax.
  3. Set pinecone on drying rack and allow to cool for a few minutes.
  4. Dip pinecone into wax again and immediately coat with salt. Depending on the salt used, the flames of the starters will burn a certain color (Epsom salts, white flame; table salt, yellow flame; salt substitute, violet flame).
  5. String five pinecones together with raffia.
  6. When lighting fire, place string of pinecones on top of newspaper in fireplace before lighting. Once lit, starters will burn slowly (in desired color) to guarantee that logs light.


Most salts available at your local grocery, drugstore, or hardware store.

Comments (3)

Martha Stewart Member
January 3, 2012
Actually I am looking for the garden in bowl shown today by Stephen Orr. I looked all over your website. I don't know how to find it.
Martha Stewart Member
January 3, 2012
Where do you buy beeswax?
Martha Stewart Member
November 9, 2011
I have an abundance of pine cones and would like to make this craft. During the segment, they just used Epsom salt. However, in the printed directions, it is mentioned that "salt subsitute" would have a violet flame. I'd like to make that one, but what is the salt substitute???? Is it Mrs. Dash? Can someone tell me? Thank you. Toni